The bird world quiets down by late summer - but not the American goldfinch, one of the most common backyard birds. September brings the chatter of young goldfinches as they follow their male parent. They beg noisily, perched with head thrown back and trembling wings.
Most songbirds switch their diet to high-protein insects when feeding their young, and they nest earlier when insects are most bountiful. For example, chickadees that keep bird-feeders busy in winter disappear in summer as they forage for insects not birdseed.
Most students across New Hampshire return to school this week, including students at Mountain Village Charter School in Plymouth. The school is one of the state’s four new charter schools opening this fall.
The actual building for Mountain Village Charter School is still under construction. So for the first week, the school’s 38 elementary students will be outside.
Teachers lead the students through a Swahili song and have them bark like dogs - mostly as a way to start the school year on a fun note.
One of New Hampshire’s long-time treasures is America’s Stonehenge, an archeological site in North Salem. Opened under the name Mystery Hill Caves in 1958, the site received its current name in the 1980s to distinguish it from more geological sites. Whatever you call it, it’s a New Hampshire classic.
New Hampshire bills itself as having a terrain for all seasons – the mountains offer climbing and skiing, the forests shelter innumerable hiking trails, and the lakes and rivers draw people in summer and winter alike. We speak with Lucie Bryar about some the state’s best spots for exploring. And, casual dining chains have been experimenting in extreme discounts. We take a look at the logic behind it and speak with one reporter who put these policies to the test. Then, in case you’ve run out of vacation ideas, we have a list of America’s ickiest attractions.
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So long spring, hello summer! Today on Word of Mouth, we head to the great outdoors, starting with the American playground, and how it’s evolved from a place of physical challenges to ultra-safe environment with short slides, and all soft surfaces. Then we’ll hit a different kind of playground for New Hampshire scavengers: the transfer station, or as it known in less polite circles, the dump.
There’s a film festival coming to New Hampshire, but it’s not what you might expect. Instead of featuring independent films by aspiring artists, this festival will screen videos that have been stuffed into storage bins and garbage cans. Today we have a conversation with the curators of the Found Footage Festival. But first, biologist Frans de Waal on altruism, empathy, kindness and ethics among bonobo chimps. Plus, we catch you up with the Granite State Music Festival, coming to Concord this weekend.
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This time of year finds a lot of people working in their gardens. Good gardeners pay attention to their soil.Just like above ground, there’s a diverse world of wildlife below ground competing for space, nutrients, and performing roles that support life on Earth.
Microscopic bacteria species by the millions; root fungi that deliver nutrients to plants; worms, ants and other insects aerating the soil and adding nutrients through their droppings and—post mortem—as their bodies decay. Minerals laid down long ago are constantly breaking down through weather and erosion.
The patter of rain. Fingers of wind comb the canopy of tender leaves. These are exotic sounds of the new tree canopy in late May. New Hampshire forests are adapted to withstand rigors of wind and weather. Leaf structures reflect inner tree plumbing we rarely consider.
Tubes of the water-moving "xylem" are coiled like springs that stretch and recoil to some degree and not break the tension of water in these drinking straws. Stem fibers of differing lengths break at different stress points
A little phoebe nest is tucked beneath the rafters in my backyard woodshed like a miniature wreath. It’s a curious little relic to behold during those long, cold snowy weeks of hauling winter cordwood. By May, it once more cradles eggs and tiny nestlings.
The elegant little nest cup is woven of green moss, lined with pine needles and dried grass and cemented with warm mud. During winter, that Phoebe’s nest carries the promise of time travel to these fleeting mornings of early May when warm sunshine drenches the Lane River Valley - already now awash in spring bird songs.
Frans de Waal is a distinguished biologist, university professor, and author who specializes in primate social behavior. For years, he’s been bucking prevailing ideas about the nature of human morality and ethics. Over decades of research, he’s found evidence of altruistic and empathic behavior in a number of species, concluding that there is a biological foundation for human morality that emerged from our animal origins.
The outdoors have provided wonder and fascination for millennia. Ansel Adams captured this in his photographs. Playgrounds have inspired this in children the world over. Even transfer stations, what many people mistakenly think are the last stop for the worn out, run down and used, are full of treasures. You just have to know how to look.
"Look deep, deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." - Albert Einstein, 1951
Ah, the great outdoors. A place for life, death, and seemingly infinite inspiration. Today's Word of Mouth is all about the outdoors: capturing its beauty through photography, creating its beauty through manipulation, and rediscovering its beauty in the most unlikely places. Join us for a walk through the wild then share your thoughts on our Facebook and Twitter.
To see a slideshow inspired by today's show, click here.
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Before dirty, old snow banks rot and melt onto sun-warmed pavement; before sweet steam of maple sugaring or green thoughts at St. Patrick's Day; remember one perfect day, when winter took your breath away.
Winter's transparent landscape offers a great opportunity for boulder appreciation. And New Hampshire has a lot of big ones, deposited by glacier action over 10,000 years ago. As the ice sheet advanced south, at it's glacial pace, it fractured and plucked many large boulders rights off mountain tops. When the glacier eventually receded, it left behind billions of these "glacial boulders."